(not) a batting title

blue sky with faint clouds and oak tree buds

Against a spring-blue sky
the twitch and loop of flickering wings
says: pipistrelle!


Of course it’s saying it in Spanish, and I see from the IberiaNature glossary that there are some two dozen species of murciélago in Spain, so I may be mis-hearing what’s being said.

This diagram from the Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds doesn’t seem to be much help, though it clearly impressed me as a child or I wouldn’t have remembered it was there:

bat silhouettes compared to birds

I’ve had a look around the web and the UK Bat Conservation Trust is just one site with excellent resources, including stunning still photos, but I’m still not sure what species it was that I was watching earlier on today.

The difficulty of catching the dithering flight on film accounts for the spring sky photo above having no bat in it, of course. Instead I will offer an inadequate photo that I took of a marvellous picture at an exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary last year. I think it was a sketch for Huang Yong Ping’s Bat Project.

watercolour sketch of bat: Huang Yong Ping

And finally, I’ll end with a quotation from Claude Debussy that I came across while trying to find a suitably witty title for this post:

The colour of my soul is iron-grey and sad bats wheel about the steeple of my dreams.

It sounds great, but I’ve never seen a live bat that didn’t look absolutely frenetic, which is not a word I’d associate with sadness.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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